DOE Science Showcase - Rare Earths Research

Europium, a rare earth element
Europium, a rare earth element.  Image credit: Ames Laboratory

The rare earths are a set of 17 elements in the periodic table comprised of scandium, yttrium, and the lanthanides.  Refined rare earths are critical materials in a broad variety of applications, including permanent magnets, rechargeable batteries, smart phones, computers, televisions, advanced lighting, clean energy, advanced transportation, health care, advanced optics, environmental mitigation, national defense, precision weapons systems, lasers, and more.

Rare earths occur naturally as mixtures of ore but must be purified prior to use.  Because mining and separation of the rare earth ore is challenging, DOE researchers are working to develop new recycling and recovery methods and to find substitutes for rare earths.  More information, including DOE research reports, publications, and data collections about rare earth research projects, is available in the DOE databases and related resources provided below.

Related Research Information in DOE Databases

For additional information, see the OSTI Catalogue of Collections.

Additional Resources


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